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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 24


by Connie Erickson
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A property which is for sale has three prices.................

1.    While your tax assessment may reflect the market value, after 30 years in the business, I have found that it usually does not.  The State works on updating your assessment value each and every day.  That is what the fair market value or the market value is on your tax bill.  Once again, it is not always accurate.  The State may not know any specifics regarding your home.

2.    Appraised value.  Again, after 30 years in the business, I have found some of the Door County Appraisers to be more accurate in value than the others.  Some appraisers have just recently started appraising in Door County and other appraisers have appraised for over 40 years.  While an appraisal is extremely important, and with a financed Transaction, it is a requirement, it may not reflect the true market value.  Talk with your REALTOR regarding appraised value.

3.    Market Value.  The definition is simply what a buyer is actually willing to pay for your property.  There is not an appraiser or REALTOR or your friend at church or your neighbor down the road who can really accurately tell you what the market value is for your home.  Certainly, the have an opinion, and that is all that it is.  Market Value is what the buyer is willing to pay.

4.    As a Seller, you have 100% control over pricing your home for success.  Work with a REALTOR who sells a lot of property and has a lot of experience in the Market.  That usually will enable you to position your property to sell.  

Door County Lighthouse Tour

by Connie Erickson
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Lighthouse Trolley Tour

Location: Door County Trolley in Door County
Dates: Jul 01, 2014

Visit Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Cana Island Lighthouse, Baileys Harbor Range Lights, and Canal Station Lighthouse. 5 hours. $64 plus tax/person, includes transportation, lighthouse tours and scenic lunch.  DETAILS!

Why it is important to test for RADON

by Connie Erickson
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Over the last few years, I have been surprised to find out that Door County has the second highest concentration rate of RADON in the State of WI.  Because of that, we had a tradesman inspector, Gene Sunstrom, come and speak to our sales meeting this past week.

Gene can perform a RADON inspection along with his tradesman inspection for $120.  If you just order a RADON inspection from Gene, the cost is $180.

Recently I had a home with a RADON content higher that 4 pic.  The Buyer and Seller decided that we would retest, and the retest also showed an unacceptable level.  I learned in our sales meeting that Gene has found that retesting rarely comes in at a lower level.  To do a long term test, the kit must remain in the house for 90 days.

I also learned that a empty house will have a higher RADON count than a house that is currently inhabited.  Because we have so much limestone in Door County, the RADON, which is decomposing the uranium, has a tendency to move towards the cracked rock and seep into a person’s home.

Last year, 91,000 people died of lung cancer in the United States.  While it can’t be attributed only to RADON, in some cases, RADON is probably the reason for it.

Gene is equipped with testing kits which can provide the results of the test expeditiously, and also email them out quickly.  If the test results return at an unacceptable level, the cost of mitigation, usually, is $1,200 +/-.

Click here to see the high Radon areas in the State of WI, the RADON measurements by County and Zip Code (yellow indicates traces, blue indicated medium count, and red is the highest), a picture of from where the RADON comes, and a picture of the exterior pipe needed for the mitigation system to vent outside.

If you desire more information, or would like a RADON test, I highly recommend Gene Sunstrom.  You can request a RADON test on his Internet site at






by Connie Erickson
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The Door County Addendum A to the Offer to Purchase addresses the conformance or nonconformance of the well servicing the subject property.  The Addendum asks a WI licensed plumber to determine if the well is up to conformance at the time of installation.

If there are repairs or work that needs to be done to bring the well up to conformance, if is usually the Seller’s responsibility to have the plumber do that prior to a sale.

Many times, the nonconformance relates to the casing, which needs to be extended 12’’ above the ground.  Sometimes a new vermin proof cap is necessary to install.  There are other things that are necessary also, and if the plumber can perform the tasks, the well is brought up to conformance.

If it can’t be brought up to conformance, it is my understanding that it may continue to exist in its nonconforming state until the first time it must be repaired.  If the plumber visits the site, and he sees that the well cannot be repaired, the nonconformance must be reported and disclosed to the DNR.  At that time, the well may have to be abandoned and a new well dug.

Ladies Night at Lampert Building Center

by Connie Erickson
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Ladies Night

Location: Lamperts in Sister Bay
Dates: May 8 2014 

A fun night for women featuring energy-saving, sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Learn how to use various power tools and then test out your skills by making a flower box for flowers provided by Jerry's Flowers. Enjoy refreshments and food samplings. Each participant receives a free goodie bag.  DETAILS!

Selling Tip #2 - The Clean Factor

by Connie Erickson
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The Clean Factor

Most people are turned off even by the smallest amount of uncleanliness or odor when buying an improved property.  Sellers lose thousands of dollars because they do not adequately clean.  If your house is adequately cleaned you will be able to sell your home faster and net hundreds if not thousands of dollars more.

In preparing a house for sale, I encourage my sellers to attend to the small items, as that is what a major impression.  Ceiling fans should be washed and sparkling.  In going into the mechanical areas, I tell my sellers that if these mechanics are washed off with soapy/sudsy water, it gives the buyer the impression that this seller really takes care of their home.  Light fixtures are another area of extreme visibility, and rarely one which sellers clean on a regular basis.  Not only should this be done inside, but also on the outside lights of the property.  It is also important to clear and eliminate the spider webs.

Unless your property is sprayed by a spider man on a regular basis, I have found that the windows, and screens, become coated with spider webs and small pieces of debris like leaves.  Additionally, spiders have a tendency to defecate on the frames of the windows, and leave little spots all the way around.  Again, this attention to detail makes a huge difference.  Most agents have difficulty addressing odors in the house to their sellers.  One of the particular difficulty is that of pet odor.  Sellers who have pets in the home do not smell them.  Cat urine can be even more offensive in nature, Sellers today are even removing the pet food dishes at the time of the showings.  While most people loves pets, they are totally turned off by pet odors, and whether we as pet owners realize it or not, those smells do exist in your home.

If you are a smoker, it is a kiss of death.  A smoker’s house, in most cases, will stay on the market forever.

5 Facts That Determine Whether Your Property Sits or Sells

by Connie Erickson
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The 5 Facts That Determine Whether Your Property Sits or Sells:

While I have discussed pricing before, there is nothing more important than correct pricing.  I can take the property in the worst condition, in the worst location, and keep reducing the price.  I guarantee, eventually, that it will sell.

Study after study shows that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the Seller will net.  The property becomes shop worn, and REALTORS pay little attention to it.  While the Door County Market is still a buyer’s market, it is more important to price your property at a competitive market value at the time that you sign the Listing Agreement.  Because the second home buyer has less motivation to sell (they never had to buy), often times this is not what is done at the initial placing of the property on the market.

Correct pricing can becomes so competitive, that if you overprice by even a few dollars, it will mean that your property will sits and not sell.  Additionally, your first offer is always your best offer.  I cannot tell you, how many times in my 30 year career, that this has been demonstrated over and over again.

An overpriced property minimizes offers, lowers agent response, limits qualified buyers, lowers showings, lowers prospects, limits financing, waste advertising, waste marketing dollars, and nets less for the seller.

5 Things You Need to Know When Buying Door County Real Estate

by Connie Erickson
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5 Things You Need to Know

When Buying

Door County Real Estate


1.  NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY!  During the winter, there are less people visiting Door County; the leaves are off the trees, so you have more depth to your vision and perception; the interest rates are fabulous; and purchasing now can assure your enjoyment at the beginning of the Spring/Summer!  Door County’s real estate inventory is fairly good, and offers several opportunities.


3.  WORK WITH A LOCAL LENDER.  I ALWAYS recommend that a Buyer or a Seller looking to finance or purchase property go to a local financial institution.  After three decades in this business, I can almost guarantee a Seller or a Buyer looking to finance property, that if they don’t go to a local lender, they will have trouble and their transaction will most probably not close.  A good REALTOR can suggest several local lenders to which you should apply, and through which your transaction would close with relatively few kinks.

4.  LOOK FOR PROPERTIES THAT YOU REALLY CAN AFFORD!  I do not find that this to be a problem with a second home purchaser…they are very responsible regarding seeking financing and having a financial institution give them a pre-approval.  However, I have found this to be more prevalent of an issue with those looking to own a business up here.  It is ALWAYS a very important and necessary step to talk with a lender BEFORE one starts looking.  This sets the stage for a WIN down the line.

5.  GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!  Even though the Internet gives Buyers unprecedented access to property listings, the Internet cannot give the Buyer the insight necessary to make an educated buying decision.  Buyers are always better off using a local professional real estate agent.  I recommend discussing the benefits of Exclusive Buyer Agency Representation.

Are You "In" The Market or "ON" The Market?

by Connie Erickson
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Sellers want to be "in" the market, not "on" the market.    Since the time on market or days to sell is severe in Door County's second home market, sellers who do not enter the market at market value will find themselves "on" the market for a long time.  For instance, in northern Door County last year, a waterfront home took on average 398 days to sell.  I've seen properties in the Door County market stay on the market for 5 or more years before they actually arrive at a price which will place in the market!

I liken this to a football game.  There are 11 players in the field playing the game at one time.  The rest of the players are on the bench.  They want to be in the game, but they haven't done the necessary things which would allow them to be selected by the coach to be in the game! 

Stupid Sellers? I think not!

by Connie Erickson
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Because I list an average of 79 to 134 Door County properties per year, many of my Door County real estate competitors tell sellers that the reason my property listings sell is because I under-price them.

Occasionally, when I'm on a listing appointment, I am fortunate to hear this objection verbalized by the potential client.  While there are several ways to deal with his statement, I have found that when I respond with, "Mr. Seller, I list an average of 79 - 134 Door County properties a year, and I have been the top Door County real estate salesperson, selling more real estate than anyone else in Door County each and every year for the past 25 plus years. So, I guess I just have stupid sellers!", there is a little nervous laughter in response and the potential client and I move forward.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 24




Contact Information

Photo of Connie Erickson Real Estate
Connie Erickson
Door County Realty, Inc.
Po Box 340 - 4027 Main Street
Fish Creek WI 54212
Office: 920-868-2075
Toll Free: 888-678-3949
Fax: 920-868-2425

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